Baptism is rooted in the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ. Baptism is a way of showing others that you have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have any questions about how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please complete a Connect Form and a member of our Ministry Team will contact you.
What We Believe
Who Should Be Baptized
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are ready to be baptized. Just like a bride and groom show others their love for one another by wearing wedding bands, your baptism is your opportunity to show others that you have accepted Christ and are now walking with him.
Once a person admits that they are a sinner and turns to Christ for salvation, the Bible tells us to proclaim this life change. Baptism is a public testimony for people who have become believers and put their trust in Christ alone to be their Savior. It is also a step of obedience as Christ commands us to be baptized in His name.
You do not have to be baptized to have Christ in your heart any more than you must exchange rings to be pronounced man and wife. But if the inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of Baptism should be as valued and as visible as the gold ring on a newlywed’s finger.
Christians believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation occurs only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment for his or her sin, and accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Believers are those who have:
- realized that their sin has separated them from God.
- learned that there is nothing they can DO to restore that relationship.
- realized they cannot reach God just through good works or religious activity.
- concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God.
A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone to be his or her Savior.
What Baptism Symbolizes
Baptism symbolizes what took place in your heart at the time of salvation:
- You accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- You shared in his death and resurrection, illustrated through baptism by going under the water (dead to your old life), then rising again (new life).
- You were symbolically washed clean, and your sins were forgiven by his death on the cross.
Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ that follows an individual’s acceptance of salvation by God’s grace alone. Baptism isn’t a prerequisite for salvation; however, if an inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of that commitment—Baptism—should follow, as is modeled throughout the New Testament in the lives of those choosing to follow Christ.
Biblical Foundation for Baptism
Jesus’ final recorded words to His followers before His ascension to heaven express the importance He placed on Baptism. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His followers, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism does not provide salvation for an individual, but rather serves to identify publicly the individual as a follower of Christ. In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48, the act of Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The New Testament records the Baptisms of adult believers. In Romans 6:1–11, the apostle Paul describes the immersion of Baptism as a means through which the believer identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Going under the water represents Christ’s death—and a believer’s death to sin; coming out of the water illustrates Christ’s resurrection and the believer’s new life in Christ.
For more information about baptism at Keystone, check out the following pages: